Jennifer Lawrence ‘crazy good’ in Silver Linings Playbook
New rom-com stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper as deranged romantics to cheer for
What you need to know
American romantic comedy Silver Linings Playbook, written and directed by David O’Russell (The Fighter), is adapted from a novel of the same name by Matthew Quick.
Having spent eight months in a psychiatric institution for assaulting his wife’s lover, ex-teacher Pat is released into the care of his parents. Pat still wants to save his marriage, and hopes his new but equally damaged friend, Tiffany, can help him.
Bradley Cooper (Hangover) stars as Pat and Jennifer Lawrence (Hunger Games) as Tiffany. Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver play Pat’s parents and Julia Stiles and Chris Tucker appear in supporting roles.
What the critics like
It starts as an intriguing story about mental illness but also has some real belly laughs, says Henry Barnes in The Guardian. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence's peppery back-and-forths are "hard not to cheer for".
The film raises the bar on romantic comedy, says Peter Travers in Rolling Stone. Pat and Tiffany, played with go-for-broke intensity, humour and raw feeling, are "deranged romantics you can't help rooting for". This film is "crazy good".
Drawing on the screwball tradition, it’s an outright comedy, says The New York Times, but like it’s main character Pat, "it’s a bipolar one that swings between passionate highs and intentionally painful lows".
What they don’t like
"The mix of comedy and pathos is tonally awkward at times," says Damon Wise in Empire. Jennifer Lawrence is the “standout” in this uneven
tale, and while Cooper works well with what he’s given, films about mental illness are always a tough call, and his performance is "somewhat single-note".